Wednesday Word: 27 October 2021

It is the season of the witch. Time for the maids, mothers, and crones to dance the spiral. Time to grab the broom and clean up all the messes. Time for stories and spells in the basement. Time to gather around the hearth. Time to wear midnight and sturdy boots, masks and tall hats. Time for tricks and treats and so many tasty things brewing in the cauldron. Time for All Hallow’s Eve!

Wednesday Word

for 27 October 2021


You can respond in the comments below or make a Twitter post to the Wednesday Word. Either way, begin your response with #witch. Your response can be anything made from words. I love poetry, but anything can be poetic and you needn’t even be limited to poetics. An observation, a story, a thought. Might even be an image — however, I am not a visual person, so it has to work harder to convey meaning. In the spirit of word prompts, it’s best if you use the word; but I’m not even a stickler about that. Especially if you can convey the meaning without ever touching the word.

If responding in Twitter, you are limited to the forms of Twitter. I would prefer that there be no threads because that is difficult. So if you have something long, post it in the comments below. That said, please don’t go too long. Keep it under 2000 words. I’m not going to count, but I’m also not promising to read a novel. Unless it’s really good!

If I receive something particularly impressive, I’ll post it next week. If not, well, that’s fine too. I know you all are busy. But if you’ve read this far, then I’ve made you think about… witch.

enter three witches

cold virgin, stern mother, wise crone
	fused in ancient ageless flesh
she is become unyielding
	indifferent to puling insecurity
		unforgiving granite of fierce wardship
		inscrutable owl eyes of judgement
she lives in the dark wood of woman’s soul
	in her sugared house
               luring rash youth into transformation
	and then cackling away on chicken legs
               and mortars and brooms
she finds you amusing
	one insouciant eyebrow of disregard
		she needs you not

enter the witch
	trailing wisps of mugwort mist in her wake
	trampling your dreams
                 of duality and duplicity
	trouncing the unwary and witless
		with one feathered and flint-tipped glance
you would do well to tread lightly in her garden
	take nothing, leave nothing
		but reverence and love
her snakes watch you always
	and she is familiar
              with fang and claw and poison

enter the witches
	dancing into the heart
	arrayed in midnight and starlight and sharp silver
	enraged and righteous and pulsing raw passion
join if you dare
	but know they will never submit
enter witch
	and ne’er come out again unchanged

©Elizabeth Anker 2021

3 thoughts on “Wednesday Word: 27 October 2021”

  1. Who doesn’t like chocolate? 😉

    Even though I’ve had people tell me I’m a witch, like you I have had to figure out what that means myself. And yeah, the books are mostly crap. So I’ve been making it up as I go along and I figure no one can tell me in any kind of legitimate way that I am doing it all wrong 🙂 Totally agree with you regarding the place-based faiths and religions, which also gives us freedom to make our own meaningful paths since it will be different wherever you live. Keep singing out in New England. I love your voice! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was 18 the first time someone called me a #witch. Not in a derogatory way, but matter off fact, oh you’re a witch! My response was, huh? And then slowly it began to make sense until I found myself dancing in a walled garden at midnight with a woman who did call herself a witch and it felt right and not silly at all. Oh. So the next time, when someone said I was a witch I was not surprised. And when someone asked me if I were a witch, yes, I am. And yes, this is my favorite time of year too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to figure it out for myself. And I’m still not convinced I like the name. It carries so much negative weight, and all the reclaiming in the world is not going to undo that. Also, because I had to figure it out for myself, it was largely through books, and there is just so much crap written about nature faiths. Almost as much dualism and violence and dress-up fakery as in the Judeo-Christian tradition (which, it must be said, is where much of the crap in Paganism, and particularly Wicca, comes from — Tarot and astrology and Kabbalah are Judeo-Christian mutations of older ideas now largely lost in translation, if they’re not wholesale medieval inventions).

      Took me about 20 years to find ideas that mesh with mine (Carol Christ, Rosemary Ruether, Mary Daly, Val Plumwood, Starhawk, Rian Eisler, Marija Gimbutas, and more generally ecofeminism & emergence physics/philosophy & much Indigenous writing from around the world). Then at about 50 I figured out that nobody was saying exactly what I felt and that maybe I could do that myself. Maybe I should! Because I truly feel we need place-based and rooted faiths & religions (those binding rules) to go with the place-based living that might help fix all these messes made from pretending like we’re not part of and fully imbedded within this our only world. We need lots of voices everywhere and lots of faiths because no one thing is going to fit everywhere. So my voice here in New England is important. Or that was my thinking anyway.

      But for now, it’s Samhain and it’s time to focus on ancestry and what death actually means in a recycling system. And yes, there is a bit of dress-up & ritual play-acting involved. Though I don’t tend to view death as a macabre thing anymore. Juicy and maybe a bit icky, but not malevolent ghosts and streaming blood.

      I do like the chocolate though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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